Passage: Mark 4:35-41
Guide for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection
Read Mark 4:35-41:
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (ESV)
- Mark has organized this story around three ”great” things – “a great windstorm” in verse 37, “a great calm” in verse 39, and “great fear” in verse 41. What do these three “greats” tell us about a disciple’s journey with Jesus?
- God often takes us places we don’t want to go. Why do you think he does that?
- When Jesus was sleeping during this storm, it made the disciples wonder if he cared about them, and they may have even wondered if it was a good idea to follow Jesus. Have you ever been in a place where you wondered if Jesus cared about you? If so, what helped you be able to trust Jesus’s care for you again?
- “Just because Jesus isn’t removing your problems the way you would have him do doesn’t mean he doesn’t care.” Why is it that Jesus often doesn’t remove our problems the way we would have him do?
- Some people reject the Christian faith they learned as a child, because as an adult they begin to realize that sometimes good people have it hard and bad people have it easier. What would you say to someone who is thinking of abandoning Christianity for that reason?
- A message was found scrawled on the wall of a horrible dungeon in Scotland, “Surely the Lord was in this place, and we knew it not.” What do you think caused that person to write something like that in such a horrible place?
- “Sometimes in the darkest places you find the Lord and discover that he was there all along.” Share an example of this from your own life.
- “You’ll never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.” Why do you think this is?
- Elisabeth Elliot (whose husband, Jim, was speared to death while attempting to bring the gospel to the Auca/Waodani tribe) wrote a novel called No Graven Image – a story of a faithful missionary woman who experienced what seemed like senseless tragedies in her ministry, and in the end ceased the work, feeling very confused. In response to the criticism that Elisabeth Elliot received for including this in her novel, she replied that the closing line of the novel was essential to understanding it: “God, if he was merely my accomplice, had betrayed me. If, on the other hand, he was God, he had freed me.” What did Elisabeth Elliot mean by that? What freedom is she referring to?
- What was the most helpful idea in this sermon for you personally? What did you sense God saying to you in this message?